Counterproductive: The Employment and Income Effects of Raising America’s Minimum Wage to $12 and to $15 per Hour

In 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the employment and income effects of raising the federal minimum wage to $9.00 and to $10.10 per hour.  In this paper, we estimate the employment and income effects of increasing the minimum wage to $12 and to $15 per hour, focusing on the low-wage workers whom such raises would be intended to assist. In doing so, we project a range of job losses that would occur if lawmakers were to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 or to $15 per hour; the net change in total income for all low-wage workers in the United States; and how the net change in earnings for low-wage workers would be distributed across income levels.

The Daily Dish

Health insurance mergers have hit the headlines recently. Aetna and Humana led off by announcing their merger, followed by the agreement by Cigna to be purchased by Anthem. To some, the most notable outcome of these mergers is that they yield two very large insurers, and leave the U.S. with three large health insurers with annual revenues in the $150 billion range. In this populist, “big is bad” era there are already calls for the Justice Department to step in and prevent the mergers. Let’s think this through step by step.

The Future of America’s Entitlements: What You Need to Know About the Medicare Trustees Report

The Medicare Trustees issued their annual report detailing the financial state of America’s entitlement programs. The report echoed past conclusions: Medicare and Social Security are still going bankrupt. At its current pace, Medicare will be bankrupt in 2030 and Social Security will go bankrupt in 2034 (a year later than last year’s projection). Despite what many will herald as good news for Medicare, a deeper look at the data proves just how broken our current entitlement programs are. 

Medicare Advantage Stars: Are the Grades Fair?

Medicare Advantage (MA) offers seniors a one-stop option for hospital care, outpatient physician visits, and prescription drug coverage. MA is popular; enrollment has increased every year since 2004 and reached 16 million individuals in 2014, which represents 30 percent of the Medicare population. Since 2008 MA plan performance has been rated on a 5-star scale to inform beneficiaries of the quality of plan options, and since 2012 plans with higher ratings receive bonuses that are in part returned to beneficiaries.

Keystone XL: A Fiscal Win

Keystone XL: A Fiscal Win

The Keystone XL pipeline has the potential to bring huge gains to the United States, including energy independence, increased security and jobs. The $8 billion, 1,179 mile line, to be operated by Canadian firm TransCanada, would run from Montana to Nebraska and deliver an estimated 830,000 barrels a day of crude to refineries located along the gulf coast. At today’s price of crude at $51.76, this would gross over $42 million dollars a day or roughly $15 billion per year. TransCanada has waited since September 2008 for authorization of the pipeline. With crude oil prices at a 10 year low, approximately $175 billion in economic activity has been unrealized due to the delay.

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